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Issues of race periodically rupture in the national and internationalconsciousness, while at other times, there is a false belief thatsociety has arrived at a post-racial era. Either way, there remainsimpetus for the critical interrogation of the racialisation ofmultimodal literacies in education, and critical race theory (CRT) is aleading approach. This article reviews original studies thatcollectively analyse multimodal texts and practices to understandthe construction of race in education. Multimodal texts haveproliferated in online textual ecologies due to the ease ofproduction and rapid global dissemination of image-based texts inthe twenty-first century. Such texts combine two or more modes,such as images, words, sounds, and gestures. Sites for thecirculation of multimodal literacies–online and offline–serve todisrupt, reify, or perhaps even exacerbate racial identities, prejudice,and subordination in education. The review highlights the prevalentthemes: (a) Discursive construction of race in the spoken mode, (b)Anti-racist and multimodal counter-narratives, (c) The racialisationof multimodal literature for children and adolescents, and (d) Racein music, visual and performing arts, and digital media. Gaps in CRTresearch and challenges are posed for future research of race in thecontext of cultural and technological change.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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